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Haftar forces admit to Libya migrant camp airstrike

Published: July 5, 2019
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East Libya-based forces on Thursday admitted to carrying out an airstrike on a migrant camp that left dozens dead, Anadolu Agency reports.

At least 44 people were killed and 130 others injured on Tuesday in an airstrike on a migrant detention centre in the Tajoura suburb of the country’s capital, Tripoli.

The location “is actually a base of a military brigade and arms depot,” spokesman Ahmed al-Mismari said late Wednesday at a press conference in Benghazi.

Al-Mismari added that this was not the first of such attack on what he described a “legitimate target”, claiming the camps had previously been a base for Government of National Accord (GNA) forces.

“We’ve repeatedly targeted it with airstrikes and artillery,” the spokesman said, adding: “In this case, the main responsible ones are those who brought illegal immigrants here.”

The Tripoli-based GNA blamed the airstrike on commander Khalifa Haftar’s forces.

Libya has remained beset by turmoil since 2011 when a bloody NATO-backed uprising led to the ouster and death of long-serving leader Muammar Gaddafi after more than four decades in power.

Since then, Libya’s stark political divisions have yielded two rival seats of power — one in Tobruk and another in Tripoli — and a host of heavily armed militia groups.

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A major airstrike on a migrant center in Tripoli, Libya has left at least 44 people dead and another 80 wounded in what is the current renewed civil war's single worst disaster yet. About 120 migrants were being held inside a hangar at a refugee site when the building took a direct hit from what's believed to have been an overhead jet belonging to warlord Khalifa Haftar's LNA forces. Another 600 people, including many women and children were in a building next to the site of direct impact when the strike happened Tuesday.

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